Search Site
Menu
Read the latest about regulatory takings

Can the Government Take Your Property Just to Increase Taxes and Create Jobs?

By Stuart Lieberman, Esq.

Our home is supposed to be our castle. And we don’t expect anyone to remove us from our home unless we fail to pay the mortgage or pay taxes.

Some readers may have heard of the concept of eminent domain: the power of the government to take property for public use. Usually, this has meant to create roads, airports, schools and parks.

As long the use has been public and the property owners have been fairly compensated, that has been an acceptable process.

In the past few decades, our courts have permitted condemnation in blighted areas. You know: slums, crack houses, and high crime areas. Generally, that has had little opposition as well.

But, can you imagine the government condemning wonderful, thriving neighborhoods to replace them with high tax paying industrial uses? It has been happening a lot recently.

I hate this process and think it is stealing. Now, thank heavens, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to look at this process. And many of us are hoping that it declares that what happened was an illegal abuse.

In Kelo v. City of New London, the Court has agreed to review a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that “economic’ condemnations, in other words condemnation where the sole purpose is to raise more taxes or create more jobs, is legal.

At issue is a city redevelopment proposal that will destroy an entire older, but viable community to permit private developers to install newer, more productive uses. At least more productive from the government’s standpoint.

People who have lived in this community for years, in once case since 1918, will be tossed from their homes as if they are landfill-able trash.

Keep in mind that industrial uses will usually produce more jobs and pay more taxes than residential uses. Which means that if this horrible decision is allowed to stand, all of us who live anywhere but under rocks are at risk. I hope that these people get relief.

This is far from a Connecticut only issue. Papers filed with the Supreme Court allege that since 1998 over 10,000 condemnation actions have been brought or threatened involving similar private-to-private real estate transactions. 60 Minutes did a report on this in the last year. I believe this is nothing more than stealing.

Condemnation represents one of the government’s most awesome powers. Connecticut has gone too far, as have many other states.

Yes, I can clearly see condemnation for traditional purposes. But condemnation for purely economic purposes is not just illegal, but it is also immoral.

The information provided in this column is written by Stuart Lieberman,a practicing environmental attorney, and is for general information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used in place of legal advice.

Stuart Lieberman, Esq., and IRED.Com, Inc., will not accept any responsibilty for any reliance on the information in this column or any damages whatsoever resulting from reading this column.

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • Last landfill in the Meadowlands to be capped and permanently closed. https://t.co/RP4pmpK7tJ
    1 week ago
  • A listing of highlights of environmental wins, losses, and mixed results in New Jersey in 2019. https://t.co/y0HevtZ6ab
    1 week ago
  • Camden County town discovers PFAS contamination. https://t.co/fMxCcGxdbn
    3 months ago
  • Ocean County announces 3,100 acre open space donation in Lacey Township. https://t.co/MZOS9764KK
    4 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Lieberman & Blecher. P.C. Celebrates its 20th Year as a Proven “Super” Force in New Jersey Environmental Legal Practice

Founded in 2000 by Stuart J. Lieberman and Shari M. Blecher, Lieberman & Blecher has developed and maintained a reputation as one of the preeminent environmental law firms in New
Read More
Lieberman & Blecher. P.C. Celebrates its 20th Year as a Proven “Super” Force in New Jersey Environmental Legal Practice

Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust: Clarifying (or complicating) defenses under the Spill Act

On January 4, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division handed down a decision in Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust, Docket No. A-5699-16T3 (hereinafter, “Terranova”). In Terranova, The New Jersey
Read More
Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust: Clarifying (or complicating) defenses under the Spill Act

NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval On August 2, 2018, New Jersey’s Supreme Court held that a holder of a municipal tax lien may have
Read More
NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

On August 1, 2018, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division ruled in favor of plaintiff in the matter captioned Joseph S. D’Elia v. Joyce Campisi and Liberty Mutual
Read More
The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form